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CONGRATULATIONS! West Seattle Junior Girl Scouts win contest

February 14, 2016 10:43 am
|    Comments Off on CONGRATULATIONS! West Seattle Junior Girl Scouts win contest
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle people

Girl Scout Cookie season is approaching, and two West Seattle Junior Girl Scouts from Troop 44282 have a head start. Above, L-R, are Eloise and Anya; Eloise’s proud mom Sybil shares the photo and explains why:

(They) submitted essays (written essay for Anya, video essay for Eloise) to a contest hosted by Molly Moon’s ice cream parlor. The “Cookies to Camp” contest asked the question “Why do you want to go to Girl Scout Camp for the first time?” and had a short list of criteria the girls had to meet, such as never having been to a Girl Scout camp before and living in Western Washington.

I’m excited to report that both Anya and Eloise won! Their essays were two of six selected out of 165 entries. Molly Moon’s will purchase over 1,100 boxes of Thin Mints from each winner, which will pay for a week away at Girl Scout camp. The Thin Mints are for Molly Moon’s ‘Scout Mint’ flavor.

The Thin Mints are separate from the girls’ individual and troop sales, so Anya and Eloise will still be out in the community selling their Girl Scout cookies to fund other adventures!

P.S. In case this gets you wondering about cookie-selling season – the community “booths” start March 4th.

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Remembering Amy Walker, 1925-2016

February 12, 2016 8:55 am
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 |   Obituaries | West Seattle news | West Seattle people

A celebration-of-life gathering is planned next month for longtime West Seattleite Amelia “Amy” Beard Walker. Here’s the remembrance her family is sharing:

Amy went to her rest on February 1, 2016, at Highline Medical Center, at the age of 90.

Born on November 23, 1925, to Charles Grosvenor and Elizabeth Cooper Beard, in Jacksonville, Florida, and graduated from Central High School in Memphis, Tennessee, she married Thomas L. Walker Jr. in 1943, sharing life for 69 years, until his passing in 2012. They lived throughout the United States, wherever his career in aircraft and missile engineering took them. She worked in various public school systems, and completed her working career as the Director of Administrative Services and Assistant to the Executive Director, Goodwill Industries of Seattle.

Amy was active in the West Side Wheelers square dance club, the West Seattle Garden Club, Washington Arboretum, West Seattle Rock and Gem Club, and was a Member/Secretary for Toastmasters of West Seattle. She served on the Executive Board of the West Seattle Daystar Retirement Village and was a Daystar Ambassador, welcoming and assisting new residents. An active member of her church, she served as a reader for the 14th Church of Christ Scientist of West Seattle. She led a pro-active life, touching the lives of so many others in a positive, lasting way.

Amy is survived by her children; Carolyn Gabrio (Bob), Eileen Meling (Lee), Thomas Walker III (Toni), and Lawrence Walker (Rosario); seven grandchildren; Kristin Pottsmith (Chuck), Janice Belding, Jacqueline Walker, Marcella Bolen (Dan), Brian Walker (Andrea), Leah Walker, and Jamison Walker, and five great-grandchildren.

A celebration of her life will be held by her family at Daystar Retirement Village, 2615 SW Barton Street, on March 26th, 2:00 pm; after which a private family scattering of ashes will be conducted. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to your favorite Veterans’ charity.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

Remembering Kay Messina, 1939-2016

Family and friends will gather later this week in memory of Kay Messina, and are sharing this remembrance now:

Free from the clutches of Alzheimer’s disease, Kay’s spirit is free to soar again.

Born to Leo “Skipper” and Helen Kelly, Katherine Margaret “Kay” was raised as one of seven brothers and sisters in Anaconda, MT. After college, Kay moved to the big city (Seattle) to work as a medical records administrator. There she met the love of her life, Ben Messina. They married in 1963 and had three boys, Michael, Tony, and Mateo.

For the next 53 years, Kay loved, laughed, and sang her way through raising a family, pursuing a career, building lasting friendships, and generally demonstrating how a life well-lived should be. Together with Ben she enjoyed plays, dinners, friends, glasses of wine, and traveling far and wide. Their journeys included exploring their roots in Ireland and Italy, and making trips home to Montana for the annual family gatherings that continue to this day.

Kay raised her boys with love, grace, and good humor. She showed them the power of love in the devotion she and Ben shared, as well as the value of community in the friendships they made, and their 50-year membership with Our Lady of Guadalupe parish. In her career, she worked with health-care facilities around the region, including a long association with Mt. St. Vincent, where she spent her final days in their care.

Kay was fortunate to have married an engineer. As Alzheimer’s progressed, Ben was able to continually develop solutions that would allow to her to remain at home for much longer than most. For that, we are forever grateful. In addition to her family and friends’ memories of her twinkling Irish eyes, Kay leaves behind Ben, her beloved husband of 53 years; sons Michael (Yvette), Tony (Dawn), and Mateo (Tammy); and eight grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to Mt. St. Vincent or Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish. An evening vigil will be held Thursday 2/11/16 at 7:00, and a funeral mass on Friday 2/12/16 at 11:00, both at Our Lady of Guadalupe. Please visit www.emmickfunerals.com to share your memories of Kay.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

VIDEO: Seattle’s Civic Poet tells story of her ‘long journey’ at Southwest Youth and Family Services

You might have missed the chance this past Thursday night to hear an extraordinary West Seattleite tell her story.

Seattle’s first-ever Civic Poet, Claudia Castro Luna, headlined the quarterly Community Conversation gathering at Southwest Youth and Family Services in North Delridge. As SWYFS’s executive director Steve Daschle explained in the introduction, much of the nonprofit’s work is with immigrants and refugees, “helping them access resources and support to be successful, (with) a fabulous staff of advocates who come from the communities they’re serving.”

Take some time and listen to Castro Luna’s story of “An Immigrant’s Journey,” which we recorded on video. She arrived in the US from El Salvador in 1981, as her family fled civil war “that really destroyed the country … nobody was safe in El Salvador.” She landed in Miami on a Saturday morning, and started 10th grade there the following Monday, though she spoke no English then. What ensued was “a long journey to the place where I wanted to be,” including multiple careers. “Through the writing, I’ve come to understand my own story,” she told those who gathered to listen after complimentary dinner served by SWYFS. They also heard from members of Cambodian, Somali, and Mexican families assisted by SWYFS, which offers multiple volunteer opportunities.

Memorial service Saturday for Chad Crooks

Saturday, a gathering is planned to remember 21-year-old Chad Crooks. This is from his family:

Laura and Todd, along with Corey, Macey, and Grady Crooks, write this to share some profoundly sad news with those that have not yet heard. In the early morning hours of Thursday, 21st our sweet, brilliant, gentle giant, Chad Crooks lost his battle with mental illness and with that, we lost him. At 21, he was our oldest son and brother and a blessing to everyone that met him along his path. With everyone around us, we grieve and love and, in time, we will heal.

Even through his recent struggles, Chad remained gentle and kind, but in the end, made a choice to control his destiny. Chad battled a disease that threatened to offer little hope of using his gifts, making them just beyond his grasp. His brilliance was a gift that he hoped would advance the knowledge and understanding of the complexities of our existence and lives on Earth and elsewhere. Our loss is the world’s loss.

This mental health tragedy is not unique to the Crooks family. It is a devastating, cruel affliction that destroys beauty. Like cancer or heart disease, schizophrenia and other types of mental illness have the same impact, often killing with an invisible hand.

A service will be held at our Admiral UCC Church here in West Seattle on February 6th at 2PM with stories, love and refreshments following. The Admiral United Congregational Church of West Seattle is located at 4320 SW Hill Street. Donations designated in Chad’s honor will be gratefully accepted to aid research in the field of schizophrenia and depression, with details available at the Saturday service.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

Susan G. Komen Puget Sound says money raised by Tracy Dart for its foundation ‘has been used as intended’

(UPDATED 8:01 PM with information about 2011 personal-expenses benefit)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The Puget Sound Susan G. Komen Foundation says it is confident that all the money raised for its breast-cancer-fighting efforts in the name of West Seattleite Tracy Dart and her local associates went to the foundation.

We inquired with Komen today after receiving numerous inquiries over the weekend about this report by the West Seattle Herald quoting an unidentified source as saying Dart may have fabricated some part or all of her reported three-time, seven-plus-year cancer fight.

Senior public-relations manager Christi Ball Loso told WSB via e-mail:

Komen was notified of the situation last week and has been in contact with Tracy’s family. We have not been contacted by law enforcement.

Our records show that Tracy personally raised $28,541 for Komen starting in 2006, and that her Seattle and California teams raised more than $414,000 since 2006. This money has been used as intended – for Komen’s research and community health programs. And, we can assure the community that Tracy did not receive any funds from Komen. The organizations that receive Komen funding go through significant vetting to assess their program impact.

The biggest question people asked us: Is the fabrication allegation true?

As we told those who contacted us in various messaging channels this weekend, that question so far has not been answered on the record by anyone. But today, the Komen Foundation discussed the fundraising questions on the record.

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Remembering Gary ‘G-Man’ Elliott, 1961-2016

A celebration of life is planned on February 13th for Gary Elliott, whose family is sharing this remembrance:

Gary “G-Man” Lee Elliott, 54, of West Seattle, passed away unexpectedly and much too young, Saturday, January 16, 2016 at his vacation home in Sunset Beach, CA.

Gary is survived by his wife and best friend of 37 years, Camille, daughter Tanya Gardiner, son Terry Elliott, son-in-law Hamilton Gardiner, sister Dee Strecker, brother Steve Elliott, mother/father in-law Jean and Don Duncan, and many loving nephews, nieces and extended family. Gary was preceded in death by his parents, Willis and Marie Elliott, and brother, Kevin Elliott. Gary was a loving father, husband, and best friend to all he met.

Gary provided inspirational adventures while working to check items off his bucket list: captaining his Chris Craft yacht, retro motor home trips, leading the Tahuya Parade with his fire truck, riding his Harley at Sturgis, homes at Sunset Beach, Hood Canal and Lake Washington, owning a tractor, the West Seattle Junction Court art piece, and daily hot tub-coffee-walks around the island with Camille.

Gary loved remodeling and fixing his homes (and the homes of his many friends and family) and worked as a painter for his entire life after being given a paintbrush by his father at an early age. He also enjoyed managing the EPM apartments with his kids, traveling, and trying anything once because “Life is full of experiences and they all can’t be good!” Gary was a fun-loving and immensely creative individual, one of the most generous persons you would ever meet, always willing to pick up a tab, and always there to help friends with house projects or whatever else they needed. Gary was most proud of his kids, who will miss him and carry on his inspirational legacy.

A celebration of life will be held at Rainier Golf & Country Club, 2:00 PM on Saturday, February 13, 2016. Gary’s ashes will be laid to rest at two of his favorite homes, Lake Washington and Sunset Beach. Donations in memory of Gary can be made to the West Seattle Fraternal Order of Eagles (Auxiliary #2643), where he was proud to be a long-standing member.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

West Seattle-residing firefighter scores big on TV game show

(Clip of Ben Dyer’s TPIR appearance, provided to WSB by CBS)

By Randall Hauk
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

When Ben and Heather Dyer decided to travel to southern California around the time of Heather’s mid-January birthday, the idea was to get away from their normal day-to-day routine, enjoy time with family members in the area, and return to Seattle with batteries fully charged from time spent soaking in the famous California sun.

When they returned to their West Seattle home and their regular day-to-day lives, Ben probably shared the typical return-to-work stories of vacation with his fellow firefighters at Seattle Fire Station 26 in South Park. Heather almost certainly told friends about celebrating her birthday while out of town with her husband.

And now that their January 12 visit to the Bob Barker Studio has been aired by CBS, all those friends, family, and coworkers who heard tales of the Dyers’ Southern California trip are learning that a fairly significant event was omitted from those early recountings:

Ben was a contestant on “The Price is Right” – TV’s longest-running game show – but he and Heather were unable to tell anyone that until it aired this past Wednesday, much less could they have revealed he went on a winning streak that ran from contestant’s row all the way through the “Showcase” finale. We didn’t hear about it until one of Ben’s coworkers sent us the tip.

“We were just gobsmacked,” an audibly still-elated Ben told WSB on Thursday, the day after his episode (which can be watched here) aired, allowing him to finally let go of the big secret he’s been keeping for two weeks.

The couple hadn’t planned to attend a taping of the game show as part of their vacation, but once down there decided it might be a fun option for the day before Heather’s birthday.

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HOMELESSNESS: One Night Count results; more about future Highland Park ‘safe lot’

Two notes today related to homelessness in our area:

ONE NIGHT COUNT: Overnight, a thousand volunteers traversed King County to count how many people were sleeping without shelter. This year’s “One Night Count” total is 4,505 people, 19 percent more than last year. Here’s the breakout of where they were found and in what sleeping situations:
You can also see the chart online here.

HIGHLAND PARK ‘SAFE LOT’ SITE’S FUTURE: Questions remain even after new information was provided at this week’s Highland Park Action Committee meeting (WSB coverage here) about the future “safe lot” for RV/car campers at West Marginal Way SW and Highland Park Way: 15 vehicles are expected, none likely to be home to more than three people; referrals will be made to people found vehicle-camping in West Seattle and SODO; LIHI (Low Income Housing Institute) will be managing the lot; Compass Housing Alliance will be providing services. The city will provide toilets and handwashing facilities, as well as trash pickup, and is looking into getting electricity to the lot.

Questions that remain include the site’s status and post-“safe lot” future. So we checked over the past two days with the city’s Finance and Administrative Services department, which manages city-owned land. Spokesperson Julie Moore explained that the paved lot to be used for the RVs/cars is owned currently by the state (WSDOT), and that the city owns much of the rest of the sprawling parcel, home to the original, unsanctioned encampment that called itself “Nickelsville.” She says the purchase of the paved lot already was in progress. And she provided this aerial image – the future “safe lot,” which she describes as a former park-and-ride, is toward the top left:


As you may know, the City owns the piece of land along the top of the triangle, WSDOT owns the other two corner parcels, and the piece in the middle along W. Marginal Way SW with the large building is owned privately. The City was already working to buy WSDOT’s small corner piece (the former park and ride) to make the City-owned land connect all the way to W. Marginal Way SW, as a means of maximizing the value of our land, with the intent to sell. There is not currently a planned future City use for the property.

City reps at Wednesday’s meeting said the “safe lot” would be in operation for up to a year – six months with the possibility of a six-month extension.

What Mayor Murray said about ‘an extraordinary crisis’ – homelessness – in speech overshadowed by deadly gunfire at camp

“People living on our streets are living harsh and dreadful lives.”

Minutes before Mayor Murray said those words in his live speech to the city about the homelessness emergency – they had been underscored.

Five people were shot in the unauthorized freewayside encampment known as “The Jungle.” Two did not survive. No one’s been arrested yet.

While the attack – called “targeted” by Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole – suddenly overshadowed the mayor’s speech, you might want to watch it, with West Seattle taking another spotlight role in the homelessness crisis shortly, as an RV “safe lot” is readied in Highland Park.

(Updated) You can watch it on the Seattle Channel website by going here – or below:

We watched and listened for key points:

“This is what income inequality looks like … We are dealing with an extraordinary crisis. … Emergency responses alone are not the answer. … We must shift the focus to long-term solutions.” He said he will pursue “a new strategy based on outcomes … (to) shift more resources to (keep people) from ever becoming homeless.” Once people do become homeless, “we know very little about the people living in those tents.” Murray vowed to change that. And he said affordable housing is key to the solution; he promised citywide meetings and also a doubled housing levy, saying that “as a city there is nothing more important we can do this year than to pass this levy.”

He repeated throughout the speech that the federal government must do more, that our city already is spending almost $50 million a year and can’t solve it alone. To get the remaining 3,000 people into emergency shelter would require another $50 million, he said.

And finally, he challenged Seattleites to face the problem “without denigrating each other,” decrying how people have vilified and dehumanized homeless people: “In one tent on our streets you might find a family that lost their home in a personal financial crisis. Go to an encampment, you might find someone struggling with addiction. Go to another you might find someone committing crimes to feed their habit. Polarized one side fits all rhetoric we hear from both sides is unhelpful.”

He also said that the claims the city is doing nothing, or that it’s doing the wrong thing by sweeping encampments, are both wrong.

And – chillingly, knowing what had happened just before his speech, he spoke of people dying on the streets, living in “encampments where some have been murdered or raped.”

He mentioned the “safe lots” to be opened for people living in vehicles, one of which will be in West Seattle, on a Highland Park paved lot adjacent to a former unauthorized encampment closed more than two years ago. Tomorrow night, Deputy Mayor Hyeok Kim and City Councilmember Lisa Herbold will be among city reps at the Highland Park Action Committee meeting to talk about it and to listen; 7 pm at HP Improvement Club (12th SW/SW Holden).

ADDED WEDNESDAY MORNING: As noted in comments, tonight’s HPAC agenda – including questions for the city – can be seen here.

UPDATE: Missing 13-year-old Jayla is home

10:59 PM UPDATE: Just got the word that missing 13-year-old Jayla is back home with her family.

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THANK YOU! American Legion Post 160 gratitude for ‘care package’ donations

It started with word of mouth … and became something much more. American Legion Post 160 in The Triangle is publicly thanking everyone who helped out with a recent donation drive:

legionphotoAmerican Legion Post 160, located at 3618 SW Alaska, would like to thank all of the businesses and individual community members for their support in the recent “care packages for deployed Coast Guard members” drive.

“It started out as a word-of-mouth endeavor that grew far larger than I had envisioned,” stated organizer Kyle Geraghty. “Lots of great items such as: snacks, beef jerky, stationery, and sunscreen were sent overseas to the U.S. Coast Guard. The Post office was extremely helpful when our volunteers arrived with over a dozen heavy boxes. The postal workers were extremely grateful the Legionnaires did not show up two minutes prior to closing time.”

If you are a business or community member that is interested in partnering, volunteering, or making a tax deductible donation for veterans or need individual guidance in navigating the Veteran Support system, contact American Legion Post 160 at wslegion160@gmail.com, 206-932-9696, or visit our website at walegion160.org.

The nation’s largest wartime veterans organization, The American Legion was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans care and rehabilitation, Americanism and youth programs. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through nearly 14,000 posts across the nation.

Celebration of life tomorrow for ‘Nurse Shirley’ (Thomas), 1932-2016

January 22, 2016 9:31 am
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 |   Obituaries | West Seattle news | West Seattle people

So many knew her as “Nurse Shirley.” Those who knew her as “an incomparable and beloved mother, auntie, and friend” are sharing this remembrance and invitation to tomorrow’s celebration of her life:

Shirley Ann Thomas, 6/22/32-1/7/16

Shirley Thomas might say her job here on Earth was done. She’d run all the “Erins” and “Jillys” on her list, and it was now time for her next big adventure.

Born June 22, 1932 to Alaric and Ellen, and the baby of six spirited Belanger siblings, she came into this world with determination and a mischievous glint in her eye. Destined to love hard and laugh often, her feisty nature was the product of good family genes and an inherently good and decent soul.

Married in 1961 to Earl William Thomas, her greatest joy was their two daughters, Erin and Jill. Her pride in her girls was unrivaled. Her love for them, boundless. No matter how big or small the accomplishment, those girls knew they’d made mom proud.

Shirley was never stingy with her love. Her bond with son-in-law Tom was unbreakable. Her relationships with her siblings, nieces, nephews, and everyone in-between were equally strong. As the generations of kids who came through the doors of the Children’s Clinic of West Seattle knew all too well, you didn’t have to be blood related to be worthy of Nurse Shirley’s love and attention. If you were in the vicinity of her kind heart, you were considered family.

Miss Shirley enjoyed holding court, waving her hands through the air as though playing an imaginary piano, while regaling us with her dry wit and oftentimes jaw-dropping stories. But more than that, she gleaned great pleasure in sitting back and taking in the family and friends who had surrounded her for the precious decades she’d blessed us all with. She was the grand dame of her neighborhood, and it was a rare occasion to find her home alone. Kelly and Bob, Darlene and Dan, Julie and Terry, she loved you so! Shirley never had a bad day.

Shirley is survived by her two loving daughters, Erin and Jill, her son-in-law Tom, and so many family members, friends, and adoring fans, there isn’t a newspaper or website large enough to name them all. And while she would admonish us with a swipe of those hands for grieving her passing, there are simply no words to describe our loss. Our comfort is knowing we all carry a piece of her joyous spirit inside us. We see it in the mirror every day, and in the mischievous grins of our children, to be passed on for generations to come.

Please join us in celebrating the life of an incomparable and beloved mother, auntie, and friend at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on January 23, 2016 at 1:00 pm – followed by a festival of family, friends, and food at her home. She wouldn’t have had it any other way.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

Open-house memorial Saturday for Donald K. Atwood, 1951-2015

Family and friends of Donald K. Atwood, who died in November at 64, are gathering for an open-house event this Saturday, and sharing this remembrance now:

Don, a lifelong resident of West Seattle, passed away peacefully on November 24th, 2015, in Seattle.

After attending West Seattle High School, Don later went on to work for Frasier Boiler for many years. He would later leave Frasier Boiler to pursue the challenge and reward of owning his own business. A pioneer in the field, Emergency Preparedness Service would go on to meet the disaster-preparedness needs of numerous prominent governmental and private organizations for 26 years. For those who knew Don well, he navigated life with a comical sarcasm and simultaneously was an altogether decent man and fair and honest businessman.

Don, the son of Cliff “Bud” and Penny Atwood, loved the camping trips from his childhood and would later pass this legacy on to his children and subsequently his grandchildren. He always had the heart of an explorer, taking his family on incredible road trips across the Western US and throughout the northern plains. Don was often compelled to visit the roads that were literally “less traveled” to find the forgotten places and muse over the way things might have been for the early settlers of the west.

He married his wife Helga in 1972 and later raised two boys, Neil and Randy. He spent many of his last days thinking about his wife and family and trying to prepare his family for a life without him. In September of 2015, despite his failing health, Don, accompanied by his wife, sons, daughters in-law, and grandchildren would embark on his requiem road trip of sorts to Yellowstone. While there, he seemed to find a closure and began to write his final chapter in life. He was able to share a place he loved with those who loved him most. His short bout with cancer would end soon thereafter, but he left this present world with a late-blooming faith that would comfort him in his final days.

On Saturday, January 23rd, Helga and family will be hosting an open house at Don’s West Seattle home for family and friends to come by anytime between 1 pm and 5 pm. If you would like further information or directions, please contact the family at DonAtwoodMemorial@gmail.com.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

WSHS graduate DeAndre Coulter accompanying SPD chief to D.C. for State of the Union address

January 10, 2016 7:55 pm
|    Comments Off on WSHS graduate DeAndre Coulter accompanying SPD chief to D.C. for State of the Union address
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle people

(Photo courtesy DeAndre Coulter, at center, with Mayor Ed Murray at left, Chief Kathleen O’Toole at right)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

“I can’t describe how excited I am!”

That’s what DeAndre Coulter, a University of Washington student who graduated from West Seattle High School in 2012, said today when we talked with him about his impending trip to The White House, where he’ll be during President Obama‘s final State of the Union address on Tuesday.

We found out about Coulter’s trip when Seattle Police announced this afternoon that Chief Kathleen O’Toole had been invited to D.C. to join First Lady Michelle Obama for the speech, and that Coulter would accompany the chief to the capital:

… At the invitation of Mayor Murray, DeAndre Coulter, a Mayor’s Youth Employment Initiative Intern who participated in the Summer of Safety, the city’s coordinated approach to public safety providing jobs for youth and young adults, will accompany Chief O’Toole to Washington, D.C.

Coulter told us he has had the internship since last summer, working primarily on communications initiatives via the city Office of Economic Development and Office of Film and Music. His career aspirations include public relations and marketing. He’s also been working on some of that already for a family business – we had heard from him recently when he sent information about his mom Tara Scott‘s new restaurant in White Center, Taradise Café.

His trip to D.C. will be brief – leaving Monday morning, returning Wednesday. A special reception is part of the schedule. Coulter is quoted in the Seattle Police announcement as saying he hopes that his achievements will inspire other young people, including his siblings. He told us that he has two younger brothers, 12 and 15 years old, one of whom is a student at Denny International Middle School.

For anyone else considering an internship, he enthuses, “I say, go for it! This has brought me so many great connections and so many work experiences – apply to as many (internships) as you can. (Last summer) when I got this, I had no idea what great experiences I would have … more than I could have imagined.”

And as for the trip to D.C., he adds, “I’m super-excited and super-honored that the mayor suggested me.”

The State of the Union speech will be at 6 pm our time Tuesday (January 12th).

OBITUARY: Memorial on Monday for Eugene T. Kord, 1931-2016

January 8, 2016 7:14 pm
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 |   Obituaries | West Seattle news | West Seattle people

A memorial service is planned Monday at Holy Rosary for Eugene Kord, whose family is sharing this remembrance:

Eugene Thomas Kord was born July 9, 1931, in Tacoma, the second child born to Alice and Leo Kord. He is preceded in death by his parents and brother Richard Kord and is survived by his wife, Virginia Kord, and their children: Cathy Peda, Lori Clark, Mary Ballanger, Margie McGillis, and Mike Kord.

Gene moved with his family to West Seattle when he was a toddler and attended Holy Rosary Elementary School. He went on to graduate from O’Dea High School in 1949 and Seattle University in 1953. He was a dual-major: Business Marketing and Education.

Gene enlisted in the United State Army during the Korean War, which ended around the time he was shipped overseas. Among his duties was teaching basic courses to young soldiers, helping them to earn their GEDs. After his tour of duty, Gene took a job with the United States Department of Labor.
In 1958, Gene married Virginia Trautmann. The newlyweds settled into a small, one-bedroom apartment near Lincoln Park. Less than a year later, Gene and Virginia moved to Tacoma, where the first of five children, Catherine Anne, was born in 1959. Two more daughters followed shortly thereafter: Lori Marie in 1961 and Mary Ellen in 1962. All were born at St. Joseph’s Hospital—like their father.

Gene’s work then took the family to Spokane. With three daughters already in tow, the next two children to join the family, Marjorie Jean and Michael Eugene, were born in 1963 and 1969, respectively. While in Spokane, Gene also became one of the first-ever lay lectors at Assumption Church. In 1973, the Kords moved back to West Seattle, where Gene continued to work for the Department of Labor. In 1988, he retired as the Area Director of the Wage and Hour Division with more than 30 years of service.

Retirement brought the opportunity to embark on a passion close to Gene’s heart: volunteer work. A devout Catholic, Gene volunteered for St. Vincent de Paul, tutored children at local grade schools, served on parish councils and school boards, taught religious education—and even served as a probation officer.

All the while, Gene’s passion for God, family, reading, and sports never wavered. He attended mass almost daily. By the mid-2000s, the family had grown to include four sons-in law, a daughter-in law, and 12 wonderful grandchildren, and Gene never missed an opportunity to join the numerous family gatherings. Gene was also an avid reader who enjoyed the morning paper and books and magazines after dinner–unless there was a baseball game on TV. Gene’s interest in baseball grew as a young boy in the post-Depression-Era, following the local legends of the Seattle Rainiers. This passion continued for many years as a Seattle Mariners fan, and those who knew Gene are well aware that idle conversation was frowned upon when the ball was in play. As a young man, he enjoyed playing in a Spokane-area bowling league and golfing at local courses—never mind that uncontrollable slice. Later in life, Gene and Virginia took to playing bridge with friends, traveling to Spring Training, and let’s not forget the nightly walks with the family dog, Heidi.

Gene is remembered as a quiet, dignified man who always carried himself with nobility. In the mid 2000s, he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Holy Rosary Elementary School. He was empathetic and a great listener. His love for wife Virginia was constant.

Funeral services will be held Monday, January 11, at 11 am at Holy Rosary Church in West Seattle. A reception will follow immediately after. A burial service is scheduled for 3 pm at Holyrood Catholic Cemetery (205 NE 205th St., Shoreline). In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Holy Rosary St. Vincent de Paul or the Providence Mount St. Vincent Foundation.

You’ll find Mr. Kord’s online guestbook at emmickfunerals.com.

Are you West Seattle’s best chili cook? You’ll want to enter this

January 5, 2016 12:49 pm
|    Comments Off on Are you West Seattle’s best chili cook? You’ll want to enter this
 |   Fauntleroy | West Seattle news | West Seattle people

(Photo by Ben Ackers, from last year’s cookoff, as Pam Goldfine‘s chili got checked out)

The annual Fauntleroy Chili Cookoff is next month and the call for chefs is out now, peninsula-wide. From Judy Pickens:

The fifth annual Fauntleroy Chili Cookoff invites area residents to apply for the competition. If you think your vegetarian or meat chili recipe is award-winning, email Adam Moomey (awmoomey2250@gmail.com) for details. The Saturday, February 13, cook-off will heat up at 6 pm in Fellowship Hall at Fauntleroy Church.

(That’s the Saturday after the Super Bowl, so you can practice on your party guests if you enter!)

Remembering West Seattle entrepreneur Margaret ‘Margy’ Fitzpatrick, 1947-2015

Family and friends will gather on Sunday to celebrate the life of Margaret “Margy” Fitzpatrick. Here’s the remembrance they’re sharing:

Margaret Ann (Hull) Fitzpatrick

Margy passed away on December 23, 2015, age 68, following a courageous battle with melanoma. Her tenacity and positive attitude throughout her illness were inspirational to those around her.

A native Seattleite, Margy attended Holy Names Academy and earned a BA in nutrition from Fort Wright College. Her company, Fitzpatrick’s Interiors and Upholstery, has been an established and very successful business in West Seattle for more than 40 years, and will continue to operate under the leadership of her daughter Tricia.

Margy was an avid skier, swimmer, and triathlete who loved the opera and Bernese Mountain Dogs. She was always looking for the next exciting life experience, and took full advantage of all opportunities presented to her. She is survived by her brother Bob (Lou) Hull; sister Kathy (Ron) Coulter; her four children, Bill (Christine), Tricia, Bridgett, John; grandson Spencer; dog Annie and cat Ally.

There will be a celebration of Margy’s life on Sunday, January 3. For more information, please contact Tricia Fitzpatrick, fitzpatricksupholstery@gmail.com. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations to Holy Names Academy Class of 1965 Endowment, 728 21st Ave. E., Seattle, WA 98112.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to editor@westseattleblog.com)

Remembering baseball star, broadcaster, Alki resident, generous giver Dave Henderson

(2008 photo of Dave Henderson @ West Seattle Little League Jamboree, courtesy Cami MacNamara)

Fans, friends, family, and neighbors are mourning Dave Henderson, who has died at just 57 years old. The photo above is courtesy of Cami MacNamara, one of the WSB’ers who reminded us that Mr. Henderson lived in the Alki area. His baseball career was multifaceted, spent with five Major League Baseball teams including the Mariners, for whom he worked as a broadcaster for almost a decade – 1997 through 2006 – after his career as a player concluded. He was well-known for his ever-present smile and for his generous gifts of time, expertise, and more, particularly for youth – Cami’s photo is from one of the occasions when Mr. Henderson collaborated with the West Seattle Little League – he threw out the first WSLL Jamboree pitch in 2008. He’s also in archived coverage of events including a benefit tournament at West Seattle Golf Course. Mr. Henderson’s peak career moments included what the MLB.com report on his passing describes as a “series-changing home run” in the 1986 American League Championship Series, when he belted a ninth-inning home run that saved the Boston Red Sox from elimination – they went on to beat the Angels and win the league championship. Mr. Henderson, nicknamed “Hendu,” went to the World Series with the Oakland A’s in 1988, 1989, and 1990, and to the MLB All-Star Game in 1991. According to The Seattle Times, Mr. Henderson died early today at Harborview Medical Center; he was taken there after suffering a heart attack at his West Seattle home. He is reported to have had a kidney transplant a month ago. No word yet on memorial-service plans; many are sharing condolences, including the M’s:

CHRISTMAS GIVING: Seattle Lutheran High School students carry on coach’s holiday tradition

(From left – Jacob Fay, Jerry Lusher (JB’s grandfather), Eric Bauman, Brandon Lulow)
Thanks to Jennifer Lulow for sharing the photos and story of holiday giving:

Three Seattle Lutheran High School seniors – Eric Bauman, Jacob Fay, and Brandon Lulow – cooked Christmas breakfast for the homeless in memory of their football coach JB Lusher, who passed away earlier this year.

JB did this for his high school senior project and continued serving the homeless every Christmas.

These young men wanted to keep the tradition going to honor him.

They also put gift bags together with hats and gloves that they gave out when they served breakfast.

Thank you to the Lusher family for making this possible!

The trio’s plan was mentioned in this Seattle Times story last month about the football team’s triumphant year as they coped with losing not one but two mentors.

VIDEO: As winter starts, a reminder of summer

GETS THE COMPANY OF (Andy Reynolds) from LetsMakeMedia on Vimeo.

Noontime and it’s so dark, we have the lights on. But – with the solstice tonight – just six more months until summer! And just for fun – moviemaker Justin Lapriore, a former West Seattleite, thought you might like to see his profile of local photographer Andy Reynolds, recorded during a midsummer day of passerby photography on Alki Beach.

South Seattle College student featured at ‘Facing Race’ report-release event

December 18, 2015 1:09 am
|    Comments Off on South Seattle College student featured at ‘Facing Race’ report-release event
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle people

(13th Year student Dulce Saucedo, who spoke at the event)
A public-affairs group chose South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) as the setting for releasing its legislative scorecard on issues of racial equity. Thanks to SSC for the photo and summary:

On December 16, South Seattle College hosted the Facing Race Coalition group as it released the “Facing Race Legislative Report Card.” The report graded Washington State legislators on 34 bills “that impact disparities in communities of color.”

A portion of the report focused on education. House Bill 1541 was categorized as a missed opportunity in the report. The bill failed and was aimed to “implement strategies to close the educational opportunity gap.” South Seattle College’s 13th Year Promise Scholarship has closed that gap for many students, including Dulce Saucedo. The 13th Year Promise Scholarship provides one-year of free tuition all graduating seniors from Cleveland, Chief Sealth International, and Rainier Beach high schools – regardless of their grades or finances. As a beneficiary of the scholarship, Saucedo – a Sealth graduate – has been able to continue her education and overcome the financial hardships placed on her family. Without the scholarship, Saucedo said that higher education would not have been an option for her. She shared her story at Wednesday’s news conference and explained how the scholarship closed the educational opportunity gap for her.

“The 13th Year Scholarship has leveled the playing field,” Saucedo, who plans on going to medical school, explained. “I’m a first-generation college student, and I want to prove to my family that I can pursue my professional dreams.”

Here’s a link to the full report; of this district’s three state legislators, Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon got an A+, and Rep. Eileen Cody and Sen. Sharon Nelson both got A’s.

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